7 June 2014

South Africa/Botswana: Banyana Banyana Wallop Botswana

Sasol Banyana Banyana turned on the heat in the first 45 minutes scoring three great goals before wrapping up a vintage afternoon with a late Ode Fulutudilu strike, consigning Botswana to a thumping defeat at Isak Steyl Stadium on a chilly Saturday afternoon.

Goals from woman-of-the-match Leandra Smeda, who scored a brilliant brace, and veteran Portia Modise put Banyana Banyana in the driving seat in the first half. Although they took the foot off the pedal in the second half, they were still able to put the icing on the cake with a late strike from Fulutudilu to complete a comprehensive and well deserved 4-0 victory.

This friendly international was Vera Pauw's fourth game in charge after Zimbabwe, Ghana and Comoros as she continues to build a formidable team for the African Women Championships scheduled for Namibia in October this year.

Sasol Banyana Banyana started brightly stamping their authority, looking far more tactically astute and physically athletic in a match played at Isak Steyl Stadium, University of Technology in Vanderbijl Park.

Banyana got the opening goal in the 13th minute through a stinging drive by Smed,a whose sweet shot gave the Botswana goalkeeper no chance to make it 1-0 for the home side.

Smeda made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute with a well taken towering header following a corner kick. With Banyana buzzing, Botswana defence looked stretched and out of sorts.

The tall Smeda was proving a thorn in the flesh with her well timed headers and almost grabbed the third in the 26th minute but saw her effort go narrowly wide.

Banyana Banyana made it 3-0 in the 36th minute through veteran Modise with a simple strike inside the box as Pauw's girls started to turn on the heat.

Refilwe Jane then saw her thunderbolt pushed for a corner as the referee blew for half-time.

In the second half, Botswana tried to get back into the mix but Banyana Banyana still looked more organised and purposeful.

The visitors created some half chances as they made a game of this friendly game played in notorious biting cold weather synonymous with the Vaal Triangle.

Smeda missed an opportunity to seal her hat-trick in the 64th minute when she shot straight into the hands of the Botswana goalkeeper who palmed the attempt for a corner.

In 77th minute, Smeda could not believe her eyes as her attempt was scooped for another corner denying her a well deserved hat-trick.

Ode Fulutudili made it 4-0 with a well-taken strike in the 83rd minute to complete an excellent afternoon for Banyana Banyana.

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